Painting with ice and water

Sorry I disappeared there for a bit! We got home from our trip and have been trying to settle back into regular life. Wait, what’s that?!
Anyway, a while back when I was looking at doing the northern unit, I saw a pin for painting with water and I thought you could also pair it with painting with ice cubes. But of course, I couldn’t find that pin again when I went to look for it. It didn’t matter though because it’s easy enough.

I set out materials on our deck for Chloe to use: paintbrushes of different sizes and one a sponge, a water dish and ice cubes in a cup.

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When Chloe saw paintbrushes, she couldn’t wait to get her hands on them. She started right away. I joined her, too.

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She enjoyed painting for quite a while. If I painted something, like a heart, she would come by and paint over it. She thought it was hilarious.

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After a bit, I tried bringing out the ice to paint with. Chloe ignored it and kept painting with the brushes. So instead, I painted with the ice while Chloe used the brushes. I drew different shapes with the ice, had Chloe identify them, and then she would draw the shape as well. Well… She would try anyway.

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Chloe loved doing this activity. It kept her busy for at least 45 minutes, and she didn’t even get to the ice. I loved the fact that there was no mess and it was basically the easiest activity for set up.

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Summer spaghetti

This recipe for summer spaghetti threw me off a bit. The sauce is referred to as a gravy. Which it is, but using chicken stock instead of beef. But it was really weird to think about spaghetti in gravy.
Anyway, I obviously got over it and made the dish.

The first step was to make a marinade for the chicken and marinate 20 minutes or overnight. Of course I chose neither. I marinated for about an hour and a half.

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The next step was to cook the chicken and set it aside.

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While the water is boiling for the spaghetti, the gravy is started.
Melt the butter and olive oil in a pot and add the garlic.

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After the garlic becomes fragrant (when is it not?!), the flour is whisked in.

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After that comes the chicken stock. For me, it took a little while to thicken.

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Fresh basil is then added to the gravy. Then the cooked spaghetti is added in with Parmesan, chicken and the tomatoes.

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The final product was really tasty. I wasn’t expecting it. That gravy word threw me off.
Adrienne (see her guest post on white cake) was over for dinner and she quite enjoyed it. Chloe’s bowl was empty (mind you, she did not have any tomatoes) and Matt also enjoyed the dish. I will make this again. The only thing I would do differently would be to add more basil. I couldn’t taste it.
But I’m already planning on putting this dish into an upcoming weeks meal plan. It was so good!

Asian beef skewers

Recently, I was thinking about food we can cook on the BBQ. It has been quite hot and I haven’t been interested in making heavy, time consuming dishes. I saw this recipe for easy Asian beef skewers and thought I would give it a try.
The first step is to make the marinade.

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Easy enough. The next step is to add the beef and let it marinate for several hours. I left mine in the fridge for a day.

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The day that I actually cooked these, I was feeling a bit lazy, and didn’t bother putting a piece of onion between each piece of meat. But I did soak my skewers in water.

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After cooking on the BBQ, they were ready to eat. They were pretty tasty. We had them with BBQ’d veggies. It was a simple, easy dish that wasn’t too heavy. A great one for a hot day.

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Gotta love garage sales

One of my favorite things about summer is garage sales. The town I live in has lots of young families, so the garage sales are usually pretty good (for me, anyway).
There are a couple reasons I really like garage sales.
1) I can buy things in perfectly good condition for my daughter at a fraction of the cost of new. No guilt on how much I spent.
2) because things are so cheap, if she doesn’t like them right away, I can store them in a closet until she’s older, even if only by a month. Or, I can store some items for trips etc. I did that for our last trip, and will do it for the next as well.
3) most garage sales have books. I’m a book lover. My daughter has several books. Ok, shelves full. And I’m always happy when more is added. So $0.25 and $0.50 books can’t be argued with! To the collection they go!

Some of you, especially those who know me, might be thinking that it was Chloe’s birthday only last week, and she got ridiculously spoiled. Well, you’re right. But I can’t help myself with garage sales. And like I previously stated, some will end up being put away for future use.
And on that point, some of her birthday gifts are put away for future use as well.

Here is my latest garage sale haul:

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A Dora tent for $2. It’s small but it’s also awesome.
A Dora pillow that turns into a blanket $5
A Cinderella Barbie $0.50
A sleeping beauty Barbie $0.50
And a lot of books $8.50
For a total of $16.50

Now this haul isn’t typical. I usually get just a couple items totally a few dollars. And I definitely don’t garage sale every weekend. We would need a bigger house if I did…

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Do you like garage sales? What kinds of things do you typically look for or buy?

I’m all about the kid stuff. I usually look for clothes and books. In the past, we’ve gotten patio furniture (whole set for $60), Chloe’s snow suit ($15), water table ($5), clothes for Chloe, pjs for Chloe, and of course toys and books. I love it!

Teddy Bear/Stuffed Animal Picnic Birthday Party

Birthday parties. Tons of fun, lots of work. On the weekend, we had a party celebrating our daughters second birthday. For a few months, I flip flopped between themes. Chloe is into a few tv shows, but they are the less popular ones that don’t have merchandise at every store. Or any store for that matter. So I came up with the theme Teddy Bear Picnic, but bringing a bunch of stuffed animals that weren’t just teddy bears.

The colour scheme was blue and pink since I found blue gingham plates, napkins, basket liners and table cloths at Target (in the dollar bin at that!). I also found pink gingham plates at the dollar store for the cupcakes.

We decorated two windows with streamers, put up a happy birthday banner, and put all the snacks on a decorated table inside.

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We had lots of snacks, but the themed ones were:
Teddy Graham’s
Bear paws
Pink lemonade punch
Gummi bears

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The activities for the kids were minimal. There was a kiddie pool, stuffed animals, a blow up tent, sidewalk chalk, water table, and backyard toys. There was also colouring and toys inside because it was hot and windy out.

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For cupcakes, there were two kinds. Rainbow bit (from a box) with homemade buttercream frosting, dyed blue and pink, topped with a teddy graham. Then I also made homemade chocolate cupcakes with a honey buttercream frosting.
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For this party, I didn’t go all out. But I also wanted to put some effort in to pull off the theme. I am very happy with how it turned out.
Here is the birthday girl, about to get her cupcake
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Cupcake decoration and photo credits to Adrienne. Decorations and other work credit to Shannon.

Summer activities Pt. 2

Not too long ago, I wrote about some of the activities we had been doing with our daughter. You can find that post here.

There are a lot more activities to add to the list.

1) going for walks

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There are so many different things to talk about or look at during walks. It’s easy to make a game connecting to learning at home. Chloe likes to look at airplanes that fly over us and inspect every rock… Our walks take a while..

2) local festivities

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Recently, our community had a children’s fair with a petting zoo. This was a hit with Chloe. And the best part was that it was free!

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For Canada day, there was a reptile area set up. Chloe loves snakes. She was so excited for this and kept asking to see the snakes. She talked about it the next day too. I’m not particularly fond of snakes…!

3) rainy day exploration

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Playing outside isn’t only for sunny days. Kids love going outside when it is raining. Some need an umbrella though. Like mine.
The world looks a little different when it’s raining and toddlers are eager to explore!

4) going to the lake

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Even if the weather isn’t perfect, like when we went to the lake, it can still be fun. Kira and Chloe played away until they were too cold to play any longer. We also packed a picnic lunch, but Chloe barely are. There was too much fun to be had.

5) watering plants

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Chloe loves her watering can. She also likes to help her dad water the garden. Any chance she has to help water, she’s there! I could probably get her to water the entire back yard.

6) ice cream and Popsicles

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Because it isn’t summer without ice cream and Popsicles. And those things are even more enjoyable when shared with a friend. Cheers!

As the summer goes on, I will continue to post activities for toddlers.

What kind of things do you like to do during the summer?

Summer activities Pt. 1

Now that summer is finally here, we have been trying to make the most of it. Chloe absolutely loves being outside. Even if she isn’t doing anything.
We’ve been doing some simple things:
1) go to the park

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She likes going down the slide and on the swings. She always cleans off the stairs of any rock and debris. I wish she would clean like that home..!

2) balance bike

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Chloe is slowly starting to trust the bike. She even let me let go of the bike so she could ride on her own.

3) chalk

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We don’t have much in the way of cement in the backyard, so Chloe often colours on the deck and stairs. It washes away so it doesn’t bother me!

4) kiddie pool

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Chloe was a bit unsure about sitting down and actually getting wet. Once I convinced her to, I couldn’t get her out! She had a blast going down the slide, playing with toys and splashing around.

There is a lot more to do outside over the summer!

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What things do you like to do outside?